Monday, August 2, 2010

Potato Stamps

The plan for the day involved the beach and the beach only. Sounds relaxing doesn't it? Especially when you include naps in between. Well, we were rained out. It doesn't look like the weather had our plan in mind. So when you can't go outdoors you plan crafts in my house.

I had read on another blog yesterday that she had used potato stamps to decorate her kids clothing. I was inspired, but I'm not sure if I'm that enthusiastic or that talented with a potato. Being in the experimental stage I wanted to make it fun for the girls too.

First I halved a few old potatoes.

Next I tried a couple of different techniques to get the actual shape to appear on the potato. First I tried to use the tip of the potato peeler and created a circle. Then I carved it out with a mix of the steak knife and potato peeler. Using these tools made it a bit messy and the technique wasn't easy. In the end what worked best for me was drawing my shape out with the tip of a tooth pick. After making a deep outline with the tooth pick I used the steak knife to slice from the outside of the potato in to my tooth pick design. I plucked off the excess and viola. A potato stamp.

I took some paper from the easel and taped it down onto the table and dressed Lorelei in something I didn't mind getting paint on. The paint did say washable, but you can't be too careful. I completely took Hannah's clothes off because you just never know where the paint might end up with a one year old.

Hannah wasn't interested one bit as it was closing in on her morning nap time. Instead of the stamps I squirted out some finger paint for her. She still wasn't interested. Lorelei however was super excited. I used an old lid from a shoe box to squirt the paint in and an old make up brush as the paint brush.

The potato was very easy for her to hold and I didn't have to worry about it slipping or making a mess. Plus the make up brush was large and covered the stamp easily. She mixed her paint and stamped away.

She washed up easily with the Crayola washable Kid's Paint pack we used too. The clean up was super easy with practically no washing, because I used such a large piece of paper that covered the table and the "stamps" just got thrown out. I wiped the paint "tray" out and am letting it dry on the counter while the brush just gets rinsed.

What I learned: Next time I wont cut the potatoes in half with a steak knife. They left lines in the stamps. I might even dry the potatoes a little bit after rinsing them. Over all it was great fun and we all enjoyed ourselves. (Except Hannah who went down for a nap while the project was still progress.)

I might suggest adding other objects to your stamps like paper towel or news paper as well. Crumple them up and let the kids make different designs. Kids love to see what the results will be with different objects, techniques and shapes.

Ducks in a row. Oh, now mom needs a little smile too.

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